What are the Causes of Dandruff in Hair 

Understanding what causes dandruff, and the factors that make you more susceptible to this condition, help you treat it better. Find out more here.

1. Causes of dandruff
2. Other factors that can affect dandruff
3. How to treat it?
4. Lifestyle changes
5. When to see a doctor?

As the climate gets colder, you prep your wardrobe with fancy winter wear and stylish boots. But do you know what else you need to prepare for? Dandruff. Even if you just enjoyed a flake-free summer, beware if you are prone to dandruff. Winter is coming! However, climate change alone is not responsible for it, there are multiple answers to what causes dandruff, and none of them are pleasant.

Let’s all agree in unison that dandruff is annoying, frustrating, and can be a bit embarrassing as well. It makes you uncomfortable and urges you to scratch your scalp, even when you are in a room full of people. And once you give in to the temptation, there’s no looking back. Dandruff is a common phenomenon, and fortunately, it’s not contagious or serious! It is a mild form of seborrhoeic dermatitis, and even babies can get it—it’s called ‘cradle cap’. Since we are all on the same page about how undesirable dandruff is, let’s find out what causes dandruff and how to treat it.

Causes of dandruff

The main cause of dandruff is a microbe called Malassezia globosa, which occurs naturally on the scalp. Interestingly, everyone has this yeast on their scalp. This is how the occurrence of dandruff works-

• The microbe feeds on sebum, the natural oils produced by your scalp. It is this sebum that keeps your hair and scalp moisturised.
• When the microbe breaks down the sebum, it releases a by-product called oleic acid.
• Some people are sensitive to oleic acid. The result? Scalp irritation. 
• As a response to this irritation, the scalp becomes red, inflamed, and itchy. 
• Your body signals the brain to shed skin cells faster than usual, to get rid of the irritant. This shedding of skin is what results in the appearance of visible flakes on the scalp, which eventually lands on your shoulders.

While this primarily answers your question, ‘why do I have dandruff?’, the microbe alone does not cause dandruff. These culprits too can trigger the appearance of pesky, white flakes.

Other factors that can affect dandruff 

Though the major cause of dandruff remains the dreaded yeast, other factors that tend to worsen this problem are:

• Changing seasons—dandruff gets worse in winter
• Irritated, oily skin
• Not shampooing enough. This leaves your scalp oily and doesn’t get rid of the residues left behind by the styling products
• Dry skin
• Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema
• Sensitivity to hair care products (mostly caused by contact dermatitis)

These factors can also make a person more susceptible to dandruff-

Age: Dandruff mostly affects teenagers and young adults. However, this doesn’t imply that older adults don’t get dandruff. It can be a life-long issue as well.
Sex: Research shows that men suffer more from dandruff than women. The male hormones are believed to play a role in causing dandruff.
Illnesses: Diseases like Parkinson's that affect the nervous system are believed to increase the risk of dandruff. 

Since you know what causes dandruff and what factors contribute to triggering it, let’s look at which treatment methods work best against this annoying condition.

How to treat it?

With the right hair products and some TLC, you can bring this condition under control. However, severe dandruff requires medical attention. When it comes to treatment, the first instinct is to search for ‘home remedies’ on the Internet. And you’ll find a lot of remedies that assure you that you’ll be flake-free in no time. For instance, it is a common belief that lemon can get rid of dandruff, or even apple cider vinegar can reduce the flakes in your hair. Lemon, undoubtedly, nourishes your hair since it is rich in nutrients like vitamin C, pectin, magnesium, and so on, which promotes hair growth. Similarly, apple cider vinegar also stimulates hair growth, by gently exfoliating your scalp and give you healthier hair.

But do these home remedies work against dandruff? No.

Here’s what you have to do:

• Pick the right anti-dandruff shampoo + conditioner 

For better treatment, you need a shampoo and conditioner that can get rid of dandruff and keep your hair healthy, strong, and gorgeous. Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Shampoo and Conditioner are here to save the day. With Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Shampoo, you get seven amazing benefits- fights dry scalp, calms itchy scalp, relieves irritation, controls flaky scalp, reduces redness, great scent, and leaves hair looking and feeling great. This dandruff shampoo is formulated with Head & Shoulders NEW Fresh Scent Technology that improves the in-shower scent experience. 

Follow it up with Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Conditioner that locks in the dandruff-fighting power and protects your scalp. It leaves behind a classic scent and gives you great hair.

For men who want to flaunt clean hair that smells great, there’s something we have in store for you. Try Head & Shoulders UltraMen 2-in-1 Old Spice Shampoo + Conditioner. This 2-in-1 anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner is infused with the famous ‘Old Spice’ perfume for a manly scent and is the right choice if one is pinched for time. 

• Tougher treatments, why not?

Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven Solutions Anti-Dandruff Shampoo has selenium sulphide that targets the cause of severe dandruff. It is clinically proven to control itching and flaking. So, if you have dandruff that is severe and stubborn, you know what you need for immediate relief.

Lifestyle changes

It’s never too late to change your unhealthy lifestyle habits, which can also cause dandruff. 

• Learn ways to manage stress since it triggers dandruff or worsens the existing problem.
• Say no to junk food. Instead, try consuming a balanced diet that is rich in zinc and B-vitamins since it promotes hair health.
• Get some sunshine as it controls dandruff. But, don’t forget to apply sunscreen. You don’t want to swap scalp problem for skin issues, do you?
• Reduce the use of hair styling products. It triggers more oil production and causes a build-up in the scalp.